Activists say it’s time to protect eco-democracy in India

During the discussion, a report was also released by Fridays for Future (FFF), Bahutava Karnataka, and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on the ‘State of India’s environment over the last decade’.
Image used for reopresentation
Image used for reopresentation

BENGALURU: Climate change activists from across the country, including Karnataka, on Saturday highlighted how the indiscriminate granting of clearances to large projects is impacting the environment and doing irreparable damage to the natural resources. They strongly advocated for the protection of environmental democracy. The group alleged that several new laws and amendments are weakening the forests, coastal zones, wildlife, biodiversity, minerals, and other resources, facilitating environmental destruction.

During the discussion, a report was also released by Fridays for Future (FFF), Bahutava Karnataka, and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on the ‘State of India’s environment over the last decade’.

Disha Ravi, Founder, FFF said, “It is getting very difficult for activists to survive in the country and it is crucial to hold people in power accountable. We need to think of how we will protect our democracy and one’s right to ask questions.” She added that according to the Global Witness Report 2023, India is the seventh most dangerous country to be an environment defender and the jailing of activists has subsequently gone up. “The upcoming government should prioritise climate change policy, as it will be a big equaliser in the coming years,” she said.

Rohit Prajapati, environmentalist and founding member of Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti said, “The country has reached a stage where we don’t have a dispute with the state or judiciary on the facts. Nobody denies that the data. National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders have been extending deadlines for restoration of severalwater bodies but nothing changes on the ground. Many rivers across the country are beyond rejuvenation.”

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